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I'm very new to Group Policies but have been trying to make our offices printers accessible to everyone on our domain. As I understand it, there's 3 ways to do this with Group Policies:

  1. Computer Configuration -> Preferences -> Control Panel Settings -> Printers (and add the printers manually by IP, which seems there's no real point in setting up a print server?)
  2. User Configuration -> Preferences -> Control Panel Settings -> Printers (and add the printers by the shared path that was setup in the print server)
  3. Deploy the printer to a GPO directly from the Print Server context menu

I've tried all the methods on a blank/new Group Policy and only 2 & 3 result in the printer being automatically listed and accessible on the client machines (despite the fact I can't find any reference to a printer in the GPO when performing method 3). I'm under the impression that it is best to deploy printers per machine where possible and that doing so via GPP is preferential to the deploy printers (method 3) as it gives you slightly more control. Is this the case and if so, is there anything special you need to do using method 1 to add the printers for the users?

(FYI, running Windows Server 2016 and Windows 7 clients)

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You are heading towards the right and clean way. In my experience, this solution great with few issues. I can help with troubleshooting but let's first get you going - I bet you will be golden after the following steps...

  1. Go to Printer Manger in Administrative Tools.
    1b. You can also search "Printer Manager." 1c. If you cannot find, please go to server manager and add the feature.

  2. Once you are in Print Manager, click, on Print Servers.

  3. Expand your Server Name.
  4. Go to Printers.
  5. Click\Right-Click on any printers you want to deploy.
  6. Click 'Deploy with Group Policy...
  7. I believe you can take from here.
  8. Good Luck, and let me know.

:-)

Cheers, Rob

  • Hi Rob. Thanks for the advice. This was in fact the method I was referring to in scenario 3. It works with no problems but I can seem to find any reference to any printer settings when I try to edit the policy from the GP Editor. Am I right in thinking that I can just change the printer preferences directly in Print Manager and then a gpupdate /force on each client machine will grab those changes (in effect meaning I never have to edit that policy in the GP Editor)? If that's the case then it's all good, I just thought I'd read the preferred way was through the GP preferences? – Chris Robinson Nov 23 '16 at 11:08
  • Sometimes it doesn't post right away, this is where you may have a GPO issue\delay. Maybe bloated policy. But running /force should whip the changes quickly. Let me know if you have issues, I will spin up my test and export the config for you to follow. :-) – Rob Duran Nov 23 '16 at 19:57

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